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Title: RAPID METHOD FOR PLUTONIUM, AMERICIUM AND CURIUM IN VERY LARGE SOIL SAMPLES

Abstract

The analysis of actinides in environmental soil and sediment samples is very important for environmental monitoring. There is a need to measure actinide isotopes with very low detection limits. A new, rapid actinide separation method has been developed and implemented that allows the measurement of plutonium, americium and curium isotopes in very large soil samples (100-200 g) with high chemical recoveries and effective removal of matrix interferences. This method uses stacked TEVA Resin{reg_sign}, TRU Resin{reg_sign} and DGA-Resin{reg_sign} cartridges from Eichrom Technologies (Darien, IL, USA) that allows the rapid separation of plutonium (Pu), americium (Am), and curium (Cm) using a single multistage column combined with alpha spectrometry. The method combines an acid leach step and innovative matrix removal using cerium fluoride precipitation to remove the difficult soil matrix. This method is unique in that it provides high tracer recoveries and effective removal of interferences with small extraction chromatography columns instead of large ion exchange resin columns that generate large amounts of acid waste. By using vacuum box cartridge technology with rapid flow rates, sample preparation time is minimized.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
SRS
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
897535
Report Number(s):
WSRC-STI-2007-00007
TRN: US0701439
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC09-96SR18500
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry.
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 74 ATOMIC AND MOLECULAR PHYSICS; ACTINIDE NUCLEI; ACTINIDES; ALPHA SPECTROSCOPY; AMERICIUM; CERIUM FLUORIDES; CURIUM; CURIUM ISOTOPES; EXTRACTION CHROMATOGRAPHY; FLOW RATE; ION EXCHANGE; PLUTONIUM; REMOVAL; RESINS; SAMPLE PREPARATION; SEDIMENTS; SENSITIVITY; SOILS

Citation Formats

Maxwell, S. RAPID METHOD FOR PLUTONIUM, AMERICIUM AND CURIUM IN VERY LARGE SOIL SAMPLES. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
Maxwell, S. RAPID METHOD FOR PLUTONIUM, AMERICIUM AND CURIUM IN VERY LARGE SOIL SAMPLES. United States.
Maxwell, S. Mon . "RAPID METHOD FOR PLUTONIUM, AMERICIUM AND CURIUM IN VERY LARGE SOIL SAMPLES". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/897535.
@article{osti_897535,
title = {RAPID METHOD FOR PLUTONIUM, AMERICIUM AND CURIUM IN VERY LARGE SOIL SAMPLES},
author = {Maxwell, S},
abstractNote = {The analysis of actinides in environmental soil and sediment samples is very important for environmental monitoring. There is a need to measure actinide isotopes with very low detection limits. A new, rapid actinide separation method has been developed and implemented that allows the measurement of plutonium, americium and curium isotopes in very large soil samples (100-200 g) with high chemical recoveries and effective removal of matrix interferences. This method uses stacked TEVA Resin{reg_sign}, TRU Resin{reg_sign} and DGA-Resin{reg_sign} cartridges from Eichrom Technologies (Darien, IL, USA) that allows the rapid separation of plutonium (Pu), americium (Am), and curium (Cm) using a single multistage column combined with alpha spectrometry. The method combines an acid leach step and innovative matrix removal using cerium fluoride precipitation to remove the difficult soil matrix. This method is unique in that it provides high tracer recoveries and effective removal of interferences with small extraction chromatography columns instead of large ion exchange resin columns that generate large amounts of acid waste. By using vacuum box cartridge technology with rapid flow rates, sample preparation time is minimized.},
doi = {},
journal = {Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry.},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jan 08 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Mon Jan 08 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}
  • A new rapid method for the determination of {sup 237}Np and Pu isotopes in soil and sediment samples has been developed at the Savannah River Site Environmental Lab (Aiken, SC, USA) that can be used for large soil samples. The new soil method utilizes an acid leaching method, iron/titanium hydroxide precipitation, a lanthanum fluoride soil matrix removal step, and a rapid column separation process with TEVA Resin. The large soil matrix is removed easily and rapidly using this two simple precipitations with high chemical recoveries and effective removal of interferences. Vacuum box technology and rapid flow rates are used tomore » reduce analytical time.« less
  • A new rapid sodium hydroxide fusion method for the preparation of 10-20 g soil samples has been developed by the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL). The method enables lower detection limits for plutonium, neptunium, and americium in environmental soil samples. The method also significantly reduces sample processing time and acid fume generation compared to traditional soil digestion techniques using hydrofluoric acid. Ten gram soil aliquots can be ashed and fused using the new method in 1-2 hours, completely dissolving samples, including refractory particles. Pu, Np and Am are separated using stacked 2mL cartridges of TEVA and DGA Resin and measuredmore » using alpha spectrometry. The method can be adapted for measurement by inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Two 10 g soil aliquots of fused soil may be combined prior to chromatographic separations to further improve detection limits. Total sample preparation time, including chromatographic separations and alpha spectrometry source preparation, is less than 8 hours.« less
  • A new rapid fusion method for the determination of plutonium in large rice samples has been developed at the Savannah River National Laboratory (Aiken, SC, USA) that can be used to determine very low levels of plutonium isotopes in rice. The recent accident at Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in March, 2011 reinforces the need to have rapid, reliable radiochemical analyses for radionuclides in environmental and food samples. Public concern regarding foods, particularly foods such as rice in Japan, highlights the need for analytical techniques that will allow very large sample aliquots of rice to be used for analysis so thatmore » very low levels of plutonium isotopes may be detected. The new method to determine plutonium isotopes in large rice samples utilizes a furnace ashing step, a rapid sodium hydroxide fusion method, a lanthanum fluoride matrix removal step, and a column separation process with TEVA Resin cartridges. The method can be applied to rice sample aliquots as large as 5 kg. Plutonium isotopes can be determined using alpha spectrometry or inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The method showed high chemical recoveries and effective removal of interferences. The rapid fusion technique is a rugged sample digestion method that ensures that any refractory plutonium particles are effectively digested. The MDA for a 5 kg rice sample using alpha spectrometry is 7E-5 mBq g{sup -1}. The method can easily be adapted for use by ICP-MS to allow detection of plutonium isotopic ratios.« less